Welcome back to another great semester here at Willamette! Hopefully not much was forgotten over the break…
For those of you that are planning on study abroad (or even those that are not), Google Earth is a great tool to check out the place you are going beforehand. There are great pictures of Tokyo and Himeji that I found while looking around (more after the leap).
Google Earth has a multitude of uses, from finding directions, to seeing if the local resolution will allow you to pick out your old Datsun in the driveway of your parents house back home…however Google Earth (and Google Maps) can also be of great use in terms of learning about culture, travel and language.
According to NITLE, a non-profit initiative for advancing learning through the use of digital technologies ,Web-based mapping tools like Google Earth are changing the way we understand our world by promoting spatial thinking and visual literacy.Google Earth allows language learners to develop their skills in geography while exploring important cultural and natural locations.
You must download Google Earth, however Google Maps is available online, and if you have both, you may switch between the two with a click of a button.
The overall resolution in this program is pretty astounding, but if you desire a closer look, you also have the ability to view photos that random people have taken and posted at the site of interest. To do this in Google Earth, select the box called Geographic Web, and check out the photo links that appear. In Google Maps, go to the My Maps tab and select the box to show Photos from Panoramio or Photos from Picasa. And of course there are other buttons for quick access to more points in interest that you can explore.
Here’s a map of Japan from space, for example.